As close to an honest story as I'm capable of. #flashfiction #shortstory https://t.co/wlp2YyEJw3 https://t.co/blT4yyxljz (21 hours ago)

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12

his wife likes to talk

His wife likes to talk. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. She likes to talk in the same way that a drowning man would like a breath of air. Neither the audience or topic are of particular importance as long as she is the one doing the talking.

Her ears are there only to pick up breaks in the conversation that will allow her to enter the dialogue and, from that point on, dominate it like some verbal bull rider at the rodeo. Listening is done in only a quick superficial way to gauge the subject matter so that she can continue on until everyone around her is convinced of her superiority on the matter at hand. If only she could avoid those annoying moments when her lungs ache for air and she is forced to breath. It is at the perilous times when someone else might jump in with their opinion or take that opportunity to discreetly take their leave or throw themselves off the nearest balcony. Ironically enough these little burst of oxygen to the brain do little improve the content of her conversation.

While it is true that his wife likes to talk very few people like to listen to her. It is said that when you have a hammer every problem becomes a nail. It is also true of her when she is holding court. She bludgeons her poor listener with a seemingly endless parade of viewpoints and, much more frequently, judgments. It might also be said of her listeners that if they had a hammer they would probably use it to end their own suffering with a few carefully placed blows to the top of their own head. Often times it is unnecessary as the carbon dioxide spewing from her cakehole allows her listener to slip away blissfully into unconsciousness. She will literally talk the very air from the room.

She can also talk the color out of marble. Really. That fact was proven by her friends one day. Some of them had doubted so they discreetly brought a small but beautifully veined slab of Marquinia and asked her opinion on something, what it was is irrelevant as she has a strong opinion on every topic on earth, and in only 60 minutes they were holding a slab of pearly-white Bianco Carrara. If she had been a preacher there is little doubt that she could talk a crippled person into ballroom dancing if only to shut her the fuck up.

His wife likes to talk. The cumulative effect on his psyche was that of waves against a cliff wall. Slowly, gently, almost imperceptibly eroding it. Each verbal wave removing another grain of interest or affection or tolerance or hope or contentment or any of the other bits of glue that held him together and stopped him from chain sawing her head off. Deep down he wondered if even that would end her endless prattling. He could imagine the disembodied head looking at him for a second like a fish out of water and then, hideously, starting to talk again. These are the thoughts that lurked behind his painted-on grin as she yammered on and on.

He had prayed for her tonsils to become enflamed to the point where she would have to have them out. He researched rare diseases that left their victims mute. He also researched, although he would never admit it to a soul, poisons that robbed their targets of the ability to speak without actually killing them. He then researched, and on this point he would absolutely not admit to it, poisons that did kill them.

Nice little daydreams.

The worst is when they went camping. When the sun was setting and the forest was quite. To suddenly have her start talking, as if bitch-slapping Mother Nature herself, was just too much. She would even talk while eating smores by the fire. The hooting of the owls and the mournful howl of the coyote was no match for the spirit-crushing assault that poured forth from her mouth. By about 10 pm even the creatures of the night called it a day and stopped trying to compete.

His wife likes to talk. She could talk a man off a ledge. Literally. In fact, she was probably the woman who put him on the ledge to begin with. If she lived in the city in a high-rise apartment you’d no doubt have to run past the building looking up at all timesĀ  to avoid the bodies that would be plummeting to the pavement every few minutes. Thankfully she lives in the suburbs.

Yes, his wife likes to talk and he hated to listen. But then again… he reckoned it could be worse. So he comes home every night and sits at the table and he does listen sometimes and most other times he pretends to listen and to her it doesn’t make much difference anyway. Then they sit on the couch and she talks through his favorite shows and then tells him to stop making so much noise with his bag of chips when a show comes on that she likes. “You chew too loud” she will complain. Then they go to bed and she winds down and finally he hears her breathing slow down and finally she is asleep.

And it is quiet.

And the next 20 minutes are his favorite part of the day. He savors them and then tries to quickly get to sleep himself before she starts talking in her sleep.

His wife talks in her sleep.

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